New art exhibition to celebrate Cheshire wildlife

PUBLISHED: 09:40 04 September 2020 | UPDATED: 12:33 08 September 2020

Nicky Thompson with John Hulme of the Mid Cheshire Community Rail Partnership at Tatton Park
Photography: Paul Wills

Nicky Thompson with John Hulme of the Mid Cheshire Community Rail Partnership at Tatton Park Photography: Paul Wills


Cheshire artist Nicky Thompson shows stunning new railway posters at Tatton Park

The glorious gardens of Tatton Park become an art gallery this autumn when acclaimed Cheshire artist Nicky Thompson displays his new collection of 12 wildlife works, commissioned by the Mid Cheshire Community Rail Partnership.

The 12 images in the poster campaign, called Travel the Mid Cheshire Rail Line and Discover Cheshire’s Wonderful Wildlife, are inspired by 1930s art and combine Nicky’s striking use of vibrant colour and bold period typography.

They are on show in the grounds of the park from October 3 to November 15.

The collection comprises works entitled Barn Owl, Badger, Fox, Great Crested Grebe, Red Deer (at Tatton Park), Grey Heron (on the River Dee), Brown Hares, Otter, Mute Swan, Buzzard, Kingfisher and Great Crested Newt and follows other collaborations between Chester-based Nicky and the Mid Cheshire Line, which connects Chester with Manchester via Northwich, Knutsford and Altrincham. The artist’s Marvellous Days Out Railway posters attracted widespread acclaim in 2017. In a social media poll run by Nicky the most popular design was the hares.

The Nicky Thompson collection of railway posters exhibiting at Tatton ParkThe Nicky Thompson collection of railway posters exhibiting at Tatton Park

The new collection is inspired by the iconic British transport posters of the early 20th century and is influenced by the work of wildlife illustrators from Nicky’s childhood, particularly Charles Tunnicliffe’s work for the Ladybird wildlife series.

Nicky, who had his first solo show – Made in Chester – at the Grosvenor Museum last year owns Lemondrop Creative and is a visiting lecturer at the University of Chester.

He says the wildlife series of artworks is aimed at encouraging people to get out and about and enjoy the nature on their doorstep.

“Although this series is essentially ‘platform art’ and will be displayed across the Mid Cheshire Rail Line, I am really excited to see them in the stunning gardens at Tatton Park,” he says. “I really can’t think of a more picture-perfect ‘gallery’. I grew up in Ellesmere Port which, although an industrial town, had pockets of stunning natural beauty including the stunning Rivacre Valley, which is where most of my childhood was spent. It was here I developed a love for wildlife and all things nature. I am no expert but I am still happiest when wandering through the bluebells or spotting the elusive flash of a kingfisher.”

Want to take a walk to Tatton, then see here for a stroll around the town of Knutsford and the parkland.

A 24-page booklet, written by the Cheshire Wildlife Trust, will be given away free of charge to support the exhibition and posters and postcard sets are available from Mid Cheshire Community Rail Partnership and Crewe Heritage Centre and the Gift Shop at Tatton Park.

Fine-art versions of the artworks are on sale at

John Hulme, a director of the Mid Cheshire Community Rail Partnership, said the CRP was delighted to be working with Nicky again with this new series of artworks, designed to encourage travel on the Mid Cheshire Rail Line and exploration of the Cheshire’s wonderful nature and countryside. “Both Nicky’s Marvellous Days Out on the Mid Cheshire Line Posters, which were launched in 2017, and our recent joint My Cheshire Arts Painting Competition for primary school youngsters, have both been a huge success, with Nicky’s posters gaining worldwide acclaim.”

Caroline Jackson, marketing manager at Tatton Park says: “Tatton Park’s natural landscape and award-winning gardens will no doubt provide the perfect backdrop for Nick’s wonderful artwork. We can’t wait to see how iconic parts of Tatton’s 50 acres of gardens, frame the colourful wildlife illustrations and create an inspiring garden trail for visitors of all ages to experience this autumn. We are equally as thrilled that one of the artworks pays homage to Tatton’s red deer.”

Garden entry tickets must be pre-booked (National Trust members are admitted to the gardens free).

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